Cultural Anthropology

Why are Women and Men different



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"Why are Women and Men different"
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Anyone who has spent time around toddlers knows beyond any doubt that boys and girls are different. This differences can be seen during any stage of life, but it is often most visible in the age when children are first beginning to understand who they are, but have not yet developed enough social grace to control their natural nature.

The question then comes where do these differences come from? There are three possibilities. The differences between men and women either come from brain differences, body differences, or cultural training.

Men and women's brain work differently it has been scientifically proven, and even more important in the social aspect is that they are complimentary. The stereotypes are true, men are less emotional and more logical while women are more emotional. To understand why you must recognize that there are two sides to the brain that do different things. The left side of the brain is the analytical side while the right side is the creative and emotional side. And both sexes are able to use each side, but in men there is a stronger barrier between these two halves of the brain. This means that women in general use both all the time, making it difficult for them to separate out emotions. On the other hand men are more able to block out emotions.

Neither is better than the other and both are useful. Consider a tragedy that happened a few months ago in my area. A tornado went through one of the small towns nearby and killed a young man. A large group of men and women from their church went out to the house to help the wife and children. The men, able to divorce themselves from the emotion and looked for something to fix. They began to work to clean up the area, while the woman saw the need of the family and sat and cried with them. Each of these without the other would have completed only half of what was needed, but men and women working together accomplished much more.

There are of course more physical differences between men and women and these can also account for some of the differences we see. Men are as a general rule taller than women, with more upper body strength while women are designed perfectly to carry children. These differences go beneath the surface as well. The hormones in the human bodies are far different in men and women. Women's bodies go through an emotional as well as physical cycle each month. This cannot help but adjust personality.

All of this, though, cannot account for many of the social aspects. There is nothing physically or mentally to connect women to the color pink, yet it has been done culturally. It is hard to know how far this goes. How many men are unwilling to admit that they enjoy a Broadway play because of social stigmas? Do women find sports less entertaining or do they simply not get socially introduced to it? There is no good way to know exactly how much of our actions are socially created, but studies on children who were given the toys of the opposite gender, or even raised as the opposite gender have shown that many of these are natural reactions and not culture.

We all know from personal experience that men and women are different but it is difficult to understand without the science just how different. We are in many ways two different species of humans who live in the same world yet think and react to it differently. We should not fight those differences in our nature but embrace them and understand that we are all stronger when we use our strengths to help each other.

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More about this author: Elton Gahr

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